Equilibrio (Equilibrium) is a decolonial project designed to challenge the colonial disempowerment of indigenous peoples. It has been difficult to categorize this project because we do not accept the designation of social categories such as religion, economics or politics, but rather incorporate all facets of life into all of our actions. Therefore we are decolonial as we are holistic: we work to create an alternative social, political, economic, cultural, and religious network of land-based peoples. We are dedicated to long-term goals – between 100 and 10,000 years in scope.
We have worked with indigenous peoples movements in both North and South America, and have recognized the diversity among peoples’ livelihoods and political situations. Colonization is at work in different ways in different places, but many of the mechanisms intertwine to disempower peoples all over the world at the benefit of the industrial core nations in North America and Western Europe.
Decolonization is for everyone, not just indigenous peoples. We recognize that different groups of people have different historical relationships with colonialism. Instead of pinging on these differences as a basis for organizing, we seek to unify different groups through collective processes of healing. Understanding how we are all implicated in the ongoing forms of exploitation in the world is a key aspect in shaping a response that refuses to reproduce divisions.
What is Equilibrio?
Equilibrio is a grassroots organization dedicated to merging environmental protection with cultural revitalization in Texas. Working with Indigenous communities throughout the world, we connect the preservation of land and culture in the Global South to the education, cultural revitalization and land stewardship of Native Texans.
Equilibrio means equilibrium – this is more than a concept – it is a worldview. Everything in the cosmos has a natural balance and the ills of the world that we experience through warfare, suffering and degradation of the Earth is due to imbalance. The answer is to achieve equilibrium.
There are many problems within modern civilization: the alienation that people feel from each other and the Earth, the inequity in wealth, the violence against others and the violence against those we love most, and the suffering of the entire biosphere, which has most recently expressed itself in the symptom of global warming. The answers to these problems can all be found in the cultural knowledge of indigenous peoples of the Americas. Equilibrio is more than an idea – it is a practice and a connection that is within equilibrium.
Many modern projects to protect the world’s indigenous peoples from industrial development do so without challenging the modern economic system that drives the displacement of people who live traditional lives. Equilibrio’s project is twofold:
- To ally with indigenous peoples who maintain ancestral ties to their cultural territories in order to defend the land and lifeways of the people. Understand that many of our people have suffered colonization and no longer maintain the same level of connection with our territory. We have much to learn in order to re-establish our cultural territory.
- To work to alter the culture of the industrial Western core nations that promote the settlement and exploitation of lands and peoples. Work to reconnect people to the Earth without appropriating Native cultures, to which they do not belong. Decolonization is a long-term process of changing the way that people live economically, politically, spiritually and culturally.
Equilibrio Norte – Equilibrio Sur
Norte and Sur mean North and South in Spanish. These directional referents describe the two continents where we work, but also two sides of the ongoing problem of neo-colonial exploitation. Much of the resources that allow the global North to flourish economically can only do so through the exploitation of the resources in the global South. Equilibrio Norte is committed to bringing balance through addressing the North side of the problem.
Equilibrio is Texas based and we are committed to establishing a connection with the cultural territory of Southern Texas and North-East Mexico.
Equilibrio Sur will launch out of Colombia soon.